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A Texas teacher went viral in 2016 after sending home a note to parents saying kids should spend their time after school playing outside or eating family dinner, not completing formal assignments.This past July, a superintendent in Marion County, Florida, announced that she was banning homework for all 20,000 elementary school students in her district and instead instructing kids to read for 20 minutes. A 2006 study from Duke University found that older students who did their homework performed better on tests, but a 2014 analysis from Stanford University revealed that kids with too much homework were stressed and sleep-deprived."The jury is still out," Mollie Galloway, an associate professor of educational leadership at Lewis and Clark College, recently told the .But maybe teachers just need to assign a different kind of homework.
"There's a focus on assigning homework because [teachers] think it has these positive outcomes for study skills and habits.
But we don't know for sure that's the case."The results from Tübingen will likely only add fuel to the homework discussion.
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The dog just ate all your excuses: A new study shows that homework may make students become better people.
Kids who do their homework diligently tend to be more conscientious than their peers, according to researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany.But for the most part, the studies haven’t looked at whether it matters what kind of homework is assigned or whether there are different effects for different demographic student groups.Focusing on those distinctions could be illuminating.The research cited by educators just doesn’t seem to make sense.If a child wants to learn to play the violin, it’s obvious she needs to practice at home between lessons (at least, it’s obvious to an adult).So it’s quite possible that much of the homework teachers assign just isn’t particularly effective for many students.Even if teachers do manage to assign effective homework, it may not show up on the measures of achievement used by researchers—for example, standardized reading test scores.“Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance,” she explained.The following year, the superintendent of a Florida school district serving 42,000 students eliminated homework for all elementary students and replaced it with twenty minutes of nightly reading, saying she was basing her decision on “solid research about what works best in improving academic achievement in students.” Many other elementary schools seem to have quietly adopted similar policies.And psychologists have identified a range of strategies that help students learn, many of which seem ideally suited for homework assignments.For example, there’s something called “retrieval practice,” which means trying to recall information you’ve already learned.